ZARQA NAWAZ created Little Mosque on the Prairie, which premiered on the CBC in 2007.
It ran for six seasons, was watched in over sixty countries and landed Nawaz in the public eye.
When not writing, producing or directing for the show, she has spent much of the past six years writing comedy pilots for ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, and touring the world as a sought-after public speaker. She has been interviewed or profiled by CNN, the BBC, The New York Times and Aljazeera, and recently wrote the Group Therapy column for The Globe and Mail. Nawaz also is a frequent contributor to CBC's DNTO. She lives in Regina with her family.
Learn a little more about Zarqa
Born in Liverpool and raised in Toronto, had the Bachelor of Science degree from U of T in her hands when she realized that staying out of medical school would be her greatest contribution to Canada's health care system. Unfazed, she coolly switched career plans and received a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism from Ryerson in 1992.
Nawaz worked as a freelance writer/broadcaster with CBC radio, and in various capacities with CBC Newsworld, CTV’s Canada AM, and CBC’s The National. She was an associate producer with a number of CBC radio programs including Morningside and her radio documentary The Changing Rituals of Death won first prize in the Radio Long Documentary category and the Chairman’s Award in Radio Production at the Ontario Telefest Awards.
Bored with journalism, Nawaz took a summer film workshop at the Ontario College for Art and made BBQ Muslims, a short film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1996. Her next short film, Death Threat also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1998. Other short film credits include Fred’s Burqa andRandom Check. In 2005, Nawaz’s documentary entitled Me and the Mosque, a co-production with the National Film Board and the CBC, was broadcast on CBC’s Rough Cuts. She has recently finished a feature- length screenplay entitled Real Terrorists Don’t Belly Dance.